Unlocking Innovation Through Analytics
This week, we sat down with Matt Madler, a technical lead on our Analytics and Insights team to talk about our mission to revolutionize nuclear operations by helping engineers and station personnel optimize their workflows with cutting-edge technology.
Tell me about your role and what your team is working on.
I am a technical lead with the Analytics and Insights team at NPX. We work with Engineers and other station personnel to understand what kind of work they perform, what kind of tools they typically use, and where their pain points are, and we help them develop technology to optimize and enhance their work. We help them to integrate technology into their processes and leverage data (from new and legacy systems) to improve operational efficiency.
Why does your team exist?
Our team exists to elevate the business through technology. Many of our customers, or people in nuclear in general, are using outdated and manual processes that require intensive effort to compile and analyze data (e.g. email and Excel). Our team is helping those individuals realize the potential to reduce the effort through automation and advanced analytic tools and techniques.
NPX is on a mission to make nuclear better, faster and cheaper. How does your team do that?
Our team is dedicated to helping the individuals directly involved in nuclear plant operations realize that there are more efficient methods available. Often, these are employees who have been working at the plant for 20-30 years, and their established routine involves logging in every Monday, retrieving an Excel report, and manually identifying the work orders they need to address for the week. This process has been in place for a long time, passed down through generations of workers.
Our objective is to assist these individuals in recognizing the existence of new tools and technologies that can streamline their tasks.
One notable advancement is text recognition technology, such as ChatGPT. Many employees in these roles spend their time reading handwritten notes, unaware that there are now technologies capable of significantly speeding up this process. Fortunately, many of them are receptive to these innovations once they become aware of them. They may not realize the available solutions and how much of a pain point their current tasks can be. Implementing such technology can save up to an hour per day for 1000 employees, resulting in substantial cost savings.
Why did you join NPX?
I joined NPX in August 2019, coming from a role with another vendor that involved extensive travel between Europe, Canada, and the United States. I was experiencing burnout from the repetitive nature of my daily tasks. The key factor that led me to NPX was my interaction with Peter Sauer (Analytics Lead @ NPX), whom I met on-site. He shared NPX's technological vision, which centered around streamlining complex and repetitive processes in the nuclear power industry and modernizing it. This proposition piqued my interest because, as a chemical engineer, it offered an opportunity to break free from the traditional engineering mindset.
Peter also demonstrated some of the Power BI reports he had created, which greatly intrigued me. At that time, I had started delving into coding and creating my own tools to assist me in my work. While my previous role had been more engineering-focused, this newfound passion for building queries and reports aligned perfectly with NPX's mission. It allowed me to transition into a role where I could focus on enhancing these processes full-time. That's what ultimately drew me to NPX.
What is your favourite part of being an NPXer?
My favorite aspect is interacting with our clients. I find immense satisfaction in introducing them to new technologies and saying, "Hey, why not use this tool? We can make it accessible on your phone or integrate it seamlessly into your workflow. You won't need to rely on email as much." It's incredibly rewarding to witness clients embrace these ideas and gradually realize the potential benefits for their teams. Additionally, NPX has a fantastic culture, and I value the time I spend with my colleagues, whether it's golfing or just hanging out. Another significant attraction for me is the opportunity to explore and experiment with new technologies, both for my personal growth and for the benefit of our clients.